Do Gummy Vitamins Really Work?

Joanna Douglas
Senior Editor

Photo: Yasu & Junko/Trunk Archive

The only way I’ll take vitamins is if they’re disguised as candy. Yes, I’m a grown up, but that doesn’t make giant horse pills any easier to swallow. Given the current crusade against sugar, however, I figured it was time to find out if gummy vitamins were even worth it. Was all that sugar counteracting the good stuff? I reached out to Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN, a Los Angeles-based nutrition expert and author of Eat Right When Time is Tight, for the scoop.

“Gummy vitamins contain the same kind of active ingredients, vitamins, minerals and other supplements, as traditional tablet or softgel vitamins,” says Bannan. “They are just another form of taking your vitamins, in a tasty, convenient way.” She says it’s basically about personal preference, and since gummier are tasty and more pleasant, they’re ideal for someone like me who may not take vitamins otherwise. “If you don’t like swallowing a tablet or softgel, and would like an enjoyable way to take your vitamins, gummy vitamins are a good choice that can fit into a healthy regimen.”

Those worried about Haribo-level sugar intake can also rest easy. “Most gummy vitamins contain very little sugar—about 2 to 3 grams of sugar and 15 calories per two gummies and 15 calories—and many are made with all natural flavors, colors from natural sources, and no preservatives,” says Bannan. For comparison, Bannan says a 12 ounce cola has around 40 grams of sugar—way higher than the American Heart Association’s suggestion of 24 grams of sugar a day for women and 36 grams a day for men. “I’m not concerned about two to three grams of sugar in a gummy vitamin if it encourages a person to take their vitamins.”

To get the most bang for your buck, nutritionists suggest a multivitamin. Vitafusion MultiVites ($12) and One A Day VitaCraves Gummies ($14) are both low in sugar at three grams each, while Slice Of Life Adult Multi Vitamins ($21) are sugar-free. Pregnant women who suffer from morning sickness or nausea may prefer Rainbow Light’s Prenatal Precious Gems Gummy Multivitamin ($30) and Bannan says that fish oil supplements are beneficial to take while pregnant or breastfeeding. New Chapter WholeMega Prenatal 500mg Fish Oil Softgels ($19.17) are all-natural. 

Kids (or grownups like me) may like the convenience and taste of flavorful gummies that come in single-serve packets, and they cost about as much as the big pills. Now you know they work just as well too.